When a person falls and has a blow to the chest, or through severe coughing, they may have a broken or fractured rib. This can be painful. It will improve on its own in about three to six weeks. For those who think that they have injured their ribs, they can take care of this on their own at home in most cases. Ribs are no longer splinted, as they are left to heal naturally. Therefore, it is not usually necessary to have an x-ray to determine fi they are broken or not. The only time you really need to seek medical advice is if the worsens or you were in a serious accident that caused this injury.
Are your Ribs Injured?
In most cases, you are going to feel this pain. It is going to be very painful when you breathe in. You may also only be able to take shallow breaths. Though it is important that you breathe normally to ensure that you do not encourage mucus in your lungs that can cause infections. There may also be tenderness and swelling in the chest, along with bruises.
Caring for your Ribs at Home
Since broken ribs can be taken care of at home, you are going to find that the most important aspect is to manage your pain. Therefore, you need to follow this advice:
- Utilize over the counter painkiller and be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle
- Utilize an ice pack to your chest to help with the pain and swelling during the first few days after injury
- You will want to take time to rest, which may mean taking off work that involves physical labour
- Ensure that you are still moving and not lying down all the time. You want to move your shoulders and ensure that you are relieving the mucus from your lungs
- If you need to cough, hold a pillow against your chest
- Utilize breathing exercises: Take 10 slow, deep breaths every hour to keep your lungs clear
Should you See a Doctor?
If you develop any of the following symptoms, then you are going to want to seek medical attention immediately:
- Increasing moments of shortness of breath
- Feeling an increase in the chest pain
- Pain in the stomach or shoulders
- Coughing up blood
- Coughing up mucus that is yellow or green
- Having a high temperate that is above 100.4 F
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